Can You Hear the Difference Between a Cheap and Expensive Flute?

Updated : Jan 07, 2020 in Articles

Can You Hear the Difference Between a Cheap and Expensive Flute?

Hi, it’s Amelie. Today I’m at Twigg Musique in Montreal and I’m going to try different flutes from beginner to professional models, and we’re just gonna see how they sound. (dramatic orchestral music) So the first one is a Prelude by Selmer and it costs $300. Hm, wait, okay. (plays descending and ascending notes) (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) Yeah, so that’s a beginner flute with closed holes and an offline G. And, yeah, it’s a beginner flute, so. Now… Yamaha 222. That’s also closed holes, offset G, and that’s also, it’s about $700, it’s a bit more expensive. Let’s see how it sounds. (plays descending and ascending notes) (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) So… – [Nik] Yeah, that’s a flute that most people start on. That one, yeah.
– Yeah. It’s, how do you call, like, a standard model. Yeah, so that’s interesting. Now, this one is Yamaha 381. I think this one is $2,000. (plays descending and ascending notes) It also has a B foot. It’s an inline G for this
one, but you can have both, when you buy it, you can choose, yep. – [Nik] And it’s all silver. – Yeah, it’s silver head,
silver body, I think. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) I think it’s got a good sound. It resonates well, yeah. – [Nik] And now we’re jumping 20, 10 times more in the price. This is the last one.
– Yeah, $20,000, this one. It’s a Brannen with a
Lafin headjoint, yeah. – [Nik] So it’s a different, so Lafin’s a different company, or used to be.
– Yeah. There’s different types of headjoints. Like, with any company. This one has little, I think, correct me if I’m wrong-
– Little wings. – It’s to… It’s to help focus the airstream, I guess? – People can write this in-
– Put it in the right spot? – [Nik] People can
correct us in the comments but I think it’s for that, it’s to direct the airstream a little bit better.
– Yeah. – [Nik] Yeah. – Some flutists love it, some flutists say it’s like
an orthopedic headjoint. (Nik laughs) And they’d rather have more choice of where they wanna put the air, so they can make more colors. But Lafin makes different headjoints, you don’t have to have those
things when you get it. It’s just a question of taste. Yeah, I’m gonna try this. – [Nik] This one’s about, retails $20,000. (plays descending and ascending notes) Okay, yeah, that sounds good. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) (plays random notes) Yeah, it’s easy to do dynamics with that. You can… (plays crescendoing and
decrescendoing notes) (plays softer notes) (plays louder notes) (plays softer notes) (plays staccato notes) I’m gonna try with the other ones, just to see, ’cause I didn’t
really test the dynamics. (plays loud notes) (plays softer notes) (plays crescendoing and
decrescendoing notes) (plays loud notes) (plays softer notes) (plays crescendoing and
decrescendoing notes) And then I’m gonna try the
dynamics with that Prelude. (plays loud notes) (plays softer notes) (plays crescendoing and
decrescendoing notes) Yeah. What I feel is that, you can
almost do the same things, you can’t do exactly the same things, but it gets easier with
the higher-end flutes. But, anyways, when you start, you can’t really do those things, so you’re not even there yet to do those big dynamics, so you can also evolve with your flute. So you can start with a cheaper flute and then evolve as you go, and you feel that your flute is not as good as you anymore, you have to get something that allows you to go further in your tone development and articulation and
technique and all of that. That’s how I feel about it. Ear training. – Yeah, we’re gonna do a little ear test for you guys, as well. So I’m gonna play four, you haven’t seen what
order I’m gonna put it in, or anything like that.
– Okay, no, no, I haven’t. – I’ve got these little things
here, these little things. So you’re gonna point to
the camera of your choice, when you think you know what it is. – I have to say, I don’t
think I will be good at that. ‘Cause, first, there’s
a player that influences how the flute sounds
– [Nik] Right. – But also, the microphones
don’t get everything the same as in the room. – Absolutely, yeah. – Like you lose a little bit.
– But we tried our very best. – Even if you have good
microphones and everything. Okay, let’s just do it.
– Yeah. And everyone here can
do it at the same time, and make sure you leave
your choices down below and see which ones, and then tell us which ones you got right and
which ones you got wrong. – Okey-dokey. – Okay, here we go. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) Great. Okay, next. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) Okay. Third one. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) – This one. – Last one. (“Peter and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev) – This one. – Yeah, that was
obviously your last choice ’cause, but, it was-
– So was I right? – Okay, so, if I recall your order. – First one, Yamaha 381. – Yamaha 381 was actually the Brannen. – So this, the second one, okay, so, the first one was the Brannen? – Yeah.
– Okay. – But you said Yamaha 381. – Yeah. – Yeah, and then number two, you said Brannen. – Yeah. – That was the Yamaha 221. – Okay! (Nik chuckles) – And then the third one, you said was Selmer, right? – Yeah. – And it was the Selmer. – Okay. – So you got that one right.
– At last. – You got that one right, yeah. And then the last one was the Yamaha, no, and the last one was the 381. – Okay.
– But you thought that was the 221. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Wow.
– There you go. So what did you guys get? Let us know down in the comments and we’ll be sure to read them and see what you guys had. And, yeah, be sure to subscribe. Be sure to like this
video, if you liked it. Be sure to share it around, see what your other friends, how they could, how they compare. And, yeah, so I hope you
guys like this video. We’ll talk to you guys next time. See ya.
– See you.


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